Those who forsake the law praise the wicked - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Biblical Wisdom
October 7, 2019

Those who forsake the law praise the wicked

by Dr. Bill Edgar, former chair of the Geneva College Board of Trustees, former Geneva College President and longtime pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPNCA)

Proverbs 28:4 – Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.

Laws in America both express our country’s moral consensus and help shape it. Once legislatures pass a law, or the Supreme Court rules on a case, the moral consensus usually moves in the direction of the law.

What do wicked people want from the law and the Supreme Court? They want not just “decriminalization” of their behavior; they want approval of it, in the press, in schools, and in pulpits if they can get it. Those who refuse to get with their program will have to praise them or strive against them.

The activist gay world hates the sentence, “Sodomy is wrong,” and anyone who utters it. A larger community hates the sentence, “Adultery is sin,” especially when it is explained that the Bible includes in “adultery” all sexual unions outside of marriage between man and woman. Credit card companies hate hearing anything about usury. Others hate, “Lazy people earn their poverty.” A big majority of America’s political, educational, and entertainment elites hate hearing, “Abortion murders innocent people.” Nevertheless, sodomy, adultery, usury, laziness, and abortion all bring immense harm to people. Approval of sin is not love; it is cowardice.

Contending about moral issues provokes accusations from the wicked, and sometimes from unwitting church allies. “You’re a hater.” “Don’t be judgmental. Remember Jesus said, ‘Judge not that you be not judged.’” In Christian circles, expect to be called Pharisaic and legalistic, admonished to be positive rather than negative, winsome rather than provocative. To have peace, all you need to do is approve breaking God’s law, or at least be silent. But forsaking the law is a fatal move towards social disintegration. Paul concluded his indictment of Greco-Roman society with the accusation that they approved what they knew was evil. “Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them (Romans 1:32).”

Those called to announce to the world the peace brought by Jesus Christ constantly face the unpleasant reality that in this age they are part of the Church at War. Jesus knew this would be so. He said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34).” Hence God’s call to live at peace with all people comes with the double caveat, “If possible, so much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18).” If forsaking God’s law is the price of peace, however, then the price is too high. All those who forsake the law earn the woe Isaiah pronounces: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20)!”

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